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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    Default Dave and Ed talk about Diver Down

    This album gets a lot of flak, but it is interesting to read what they said about the album at the time. This is credited as being a Guitar Player interview, not sure if that part is accurate, but this sure seems like Dave and Ed. Sound like normal creative guys here, not sure what happened, must have been all the coke.

    Here it is:

    Guitar Player (Dec. 1982)

    Eddie: Recording Diver Down "was fun": "When we came off the Fair Warning tour last year [1981], we were going to take a break and spend a lot of time writing this and that. Dave came up with the idea of, 'Hey, why don't we start off the new year with just putting out a single?' He wanted to do 'Dancing in the Streets.' He gave me the original Martha Reeves & the Vandellas tape, and I listened to it and said, 'I can't get a handle on anything out of this song.' I couldn't figure out a riff, and you know the way I like to play: I always like to do a riff, as opposed to just hitting barre chords and strumming. So I said, 'Look, if you want to do a cover tune, why don't we do 'Pretty Woman'? It took one day. We went to Sunset Sound in L.A., recorded it, and it came out right after the first of the year. It started climbing the charts, so all of a sudden Warner Bros. is going, 'You got a hit single on your hands. We gotta have that record.' We said, 'Wait a minute, we just did that to keep us out there, so that people know we're still alive.' But they just kept pressuring, so we jumped right back in without any rest or time to recuperate from the tour, and started recording. We spent 12 days making the album ... it was a lot of fun." Interviewers Note: In addition to this, two of the original songs were around long before the album was made. "Hang 'Em High" can trace its roots back to the band's 1977 demos as "Last Night", which had the same music but different lyrics. "Cathedral" was also nothing new, being played in its current form throughout 1981 with earlier versions going back to 1980. Additionally, "Happy Trails" had been recorded for their 1977 demos as a joke.

    Where Have all the Good Times Gone

    Dave: "we're capable of playing six different [Kinks songs]. Because at one time, back in our bar days, I bought a double album from K-Tel or something that had 30 Kinks tunes on it. We learned all of one side and played them into the dirt during the club gigs, twice a night each one, because they sounded so good and they were great to dance to, etc., etc." He added that the band had never met Ray Davies but that "we had a seance once and tried to dredge up his spirit. And Chrissie Hynde materialized for a brief moment."

    Eddie: "The solo was more sounds than lines. I ran the edge of my pick up and down the strings for some of those effects. I think I used my Echoplex in that song."

    Hang 'Em High

    Dave: "It's like all those Westerns where there's some kind of dissonant sound in the background. Like they'll have one harmonica that hits only one note - eeeeeeeeee - and that's when you know the hero is coming to town or something terrible is going to happen. And what happens is Edward will come up with a song or a riff and then immediately I'll hear it and I'll know right away what the scenario is."

    Eddie: "The solo was just loose, fun, craziness. I play it better every night than I did on the record, but who cares? It has feeling. Actually that was a really old song."

    Cathedral

    Eddie: "I've been doing 'Cathedral' for over a year and I wanted to put it on record ... it sounds like a Catholic church organ, which is how it got its name. On that cut I use the volume knob a lot. If you turn it up and down too fast, it heats up and freezes. I did two takes of that song, and right at the end of the second take, the volume knob just froze, just stopped."

    Secrets

    Dave: "The nucleus of the lyrics come from greeting cards and get-well cards that I bought in Albequerque, New Mexico on the last tour, and they were written in the style of American Indian poetry. 'May your mocassins leave happy tracks in the summer snows'.

    Eddie: "I used a Gibson doubleneck 12-string, the model Jimmy Page uses, and played with a flatpick. The solo in 'Secrets' was a first take. I kind of laid back, and it fit the song."

    Dancing in the Streets
    Dave: "It sounds like more than four people are playing, when in actuality there are almost zero overdubs - that's why it takes us such a short amount of time [to record]."

    Eddie: "It takes almost as much time to make a cover song sound original as it does writing a song. I spent a lot of time arranging and playing synthesizer on 'Dancing in the Streets,' and they [critics] just wrote it off as, 'Oh, it's just like the original.' So forget the critics! These are good songs. Why shouldn't we redo them for the new generation of people?'

    Little Guitars

    Dave: "Edward was saying he'd just seen this TV show with a flamenco guy doing all these wonderful things with his fingers, and he says 'I've figured out how to do it with one pick, watch this.' And he faked it. And it sounded better than the original ... It sounded Mexican to me, so I wrote a song for senoritas."

    Eddie: "I think that the best thing I do is cheat. I came up with the intro after I bought a couple of Carlos Montoya records. I was hearing his fingerpicking, going, 'My God, this guy is great. I can't do that.' So, I just listened to that style of music for a couple of days and I cheated! [Using a pick] I am doing trills on the high E and pull-offs with my left hand, and slapping my middle finger on the low E. If there's something I want to do and can't, I won't give up until I can figure out some way to make it sound similar to what I really can't do."

    Big Bad Bill (Is Sweet William Now)

    Dave: "I think it's a great song. And there has been this thread winding its way through all of Van Halen's music and all of our albums since beginning with 'Ice Cream Man'. I played acoustic guitar and songs like this for quite a while before I ever joined Van Halen. It's music. Why do I have to bang my head to every single song on every single album? I don't think the audience has that much lack of creativity or imagination."

    Eddie: "It was Dave's idea to do 'Big Bad Bill'. He bought himself one of those Sanyo Walkman-type things with the FM-AM radio, and you can record off the radio if you like something you hear. He was up in his bedroom at his father's house and he found that if he stood in a certain spot and pointed his antenna a certain way, he picked up this weird radio station in Louisville, Kentucky. He recorded 'Big Bad Bill' and played it to us, and we started laughing ourselves silly and going, 'That is bad! Let's do it!' Dave suggested, 'Hey, we can get your old man to play the clarinet.' We said, 'sure.'

    "It's so funny, because I couldn't play the song for you right now. I had to read because there were so many chords, I just couldn't remember it. So here's my father to the left of me, sitting on a chair with a music stand in front of him, and I'm sitting next to him with sheet music in a stand. Mike was there, too, playing like an acoustic guitar bass - the kind they have in Mexican restaurants where they come up, play in front of your face, and aggravate you. We had a great time. It looked like an old '30s or '40s session. I used some thick Gibson hollowbody with f-holes. My father hadn't played in a long time because he had lost his left-hand middle finger about ten years ago. He was nervous, and we told him, 'Jan, just have a good time. We make mistakes! That's what makes it real.' I love what he did, but he was thinking back ten years ago when he was smokin', playing jazz and stuff. He played exactly what we wanted."

    Dave: "I think when you hear Mr. Van Halen playing, you'll have an idea it's a shadow of where Eddie and Alex are now. There's a sense of humour in there, a lot of technique and a whole lot of beer!"

    The Full Bug

    Dave: "You know when you have a cockroach and they run round the house and get into a corner? We used to have these shoes called PRFCs - Puerto Rican Fence Climbers, okay? And this was aptly titled because if you were running from the police or what have you, and you were wearing your PRFCs, you could hit the fence at a dead run and your foot would stay in and you could commence climbing immediately, which was the essence of the whole sport anyway. And these were also great shoes for when the cockroach moves into the corner and you get at it with your foot or the broom anymore. You just jam your toe into the corner and hit as hard as you can. And if you did it right you got the full bug. So this slang means - bammm! - you have to give it everything you've got. Make the maximum effort, do everything possible, get the full bug."

    Eddie: "Dave plays the acoustic guitar and harmonica on the intro of 'The Full Bug.' My lines in the middle of that are different. I've been doing a lot of stuff with Allan Holdsworth, and he inspires me."

    Happy Trails

    Dave: "Joke 'em if they can't take a fuck, Sylvie! You wouldn't believe the number of TV commercials and radio jingles this band can sing in four-part harmony. I was nannied and weaned by TV- that's the babysitter around here when you're growing up, to sit in front of the tube. You turn into a vidiot. I remember all the commercials. We've been singing 'Happy Trails' for general airport use for years. And we wanted to do something wonderful and different for you."
    Last edited by Dave's Dreidel; 09.02.09 at 04:53 PM. Reason: Bolded some stuff to make it read easier
    Taylor Swift is nice to look at. Adele can sing.

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  2. #2
    Eruption DiveBomb's Avatar
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    Neat, neat, neat. I like that interview.
    Van Halen will rock your face off!

  3. #3
    Forum Frontman Double Down's Avatar
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    11.17.17 @ 12:11 PM
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    Default

    Awesome....thanks for posting that. Always loved Diver Down so it's great to hear them talk about it. Will never understand why people shit on it. It's so damn good.




    But how about the part where Ed says "we just put that out there to let people know we're still alive." Where did that attitude go?
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  4. #4
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    Default

    Really cool, I always wanted to know what "The Full Bug" was about.
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  5. #5
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 11:52 AM
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Down View Post
    \


    But how about the part where Ed says "we just put that out there to let people know we're still alive." Where did that attitude go?
    Ed was a cool mofo at one time...what the hell happened?
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  6. #6
    Atomic Punk
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett View Post
    Ed was a cool mofo at one time...what the hell happened?
    Women...

    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  7. #7
    Hot sauce on everything Red's Avatar
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    I think I've seen some of those comments before....anyone remember the magazine that came out in the 80's, it was a compilation of Ed interviews, mostly with Jas Obrecht...I think some of them may in fact be over on Stage Left....anyway, cool to read that stuff, especially the Dave comments, never saw those before.

  8. #8
    Atomic Punk Raldo's Avatar
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    Great interview!

    I also never knew anything about 'The Full Bug'.
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  9. #9
    Sinner's Swing! Bullwinkle's Avatar
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    "...so we jumped right back in without any rest or time to recuperate from the tour, and started recording. We spent 12 days making the album ... it was a lot of fun."


    Arrrrrgghhhh!







    Don't read this.

  10. #10
    Good Enough
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullwinkle View Post
    "...so we jumped right back in without any rest or time to recuperate from the tour, and started recording. We spent 12 days making the album ... it was a lot of fun."


    Arrrrrgghhhh!
    Hopefully, we'll soon hear...

    "...so we didn't jump back in without any rest or time to recuperate from the III Tour, and didn't start recording. We spent 12 years making an album... it was a lot of fun."

    Sings like a bird. Rocks like a pig.

  11. #11
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red View Post
    I think I've seen some of those comments before....anyone remember the magazine that came out in the 80's, it was a compilation of Ed interviews, mostly with Jas Obrecht...I think some of them may in fact be over on Stage Left....anyway, cool to read that stuff, especially the Dave comments, never saw those before.
    Some of Ed's comments I've seen, but never Dave's.
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  12. #12
    Banned! i1sum2!'s Avatar
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    Great interview. Nice to hear how that album was constructed. Ed sure didn't seem to mind it (Diver Down) that particular day, did he? He later went on record saying he dislikes it. You couldn't tell from that read.

  13. #13
    Sinner's Swing! Bullwinkle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett View Post
    Some of Ed's comments I've seen, but never Dave's.
    You should have subscribed to Teen Beat back in the 80's along with Guitar World, then you would have had the whole story like I did.

    Plus, I almost won a dream date with Ricky Schroeder.







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  14. #14
    Good Enough pal1800's Avatar
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    Cool stuff.

  15. #15
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by i1sum2! View Post
    Great interview. Nice to hear how that album was constructed. Ed sure didn't seem to mind it (Diver Down) that particular day, did he? He later went on record saying he dislikes it. You couldn't tell from that read.
    I think Ed didn't mind it at the time because they were just in the moment having fun. Warner Brothers wants a record? Sure, here is a cover album with a couple updated tunes from our demo.

    Twelve days to record...wow.
    Taylor Swift is nice to look at. Adele can sing.

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